no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

sink holes and flotillas.

(sung to the tune of starlight by muse).

there is so much calamity in this, our world. the seas are churning, animals are choking, the trees are burning and very ground is falling in on itself. i've taken up reading the new internationalist magazine, and aside from their focus on human equity and justice, there is an underlying worry about the environment as the root of all the problems we are facing.

we had a talk by ross gittins at uni, which was very enlightening (even the slightly boring bits) and he pointed out that the current economic model was designed 150 years ago and has never been able to integrate the concept of the environment being anything other than a free good. there was a report i remember reading that said americans thought access to affordable petrol (gas!) was a human right. people really do think this way, and i think there is truth in those doomsayers that claim the world will end in fire and brimstone much sooner than we think because somehow, somewhere (new internationalist blames capitalism) we all lost our respect for the planet we live on. look at japan: they are planning giant power factories on the moon. that wonderful documentary on the abc about space mentioned that our next big space goal is to get to the gassy moons of saturn and use up those resources. but all of it has the same fatal flaw - we, all of us, think of the planet as something that is there to provide us with everything that we need. we see it as a one-way relationship. remember those food chains that we learnt in school? the shark and the human were always at the top, so it looked like everything only existed for our use (dare i say 'consumption').

now, i don't know what to do to fix it, which i know makes me part of the problem. but i do think that all this starting small stuff is not yet working. maybe, if the major parties manage to continue on their merry way to political harakiri, the greens will chuck a bradbury and skate on by into a meaningful position of power. one day, and i can only hope it is sooner rather than later, people will not be able to ignore the cries of the planet and its creatures and other organisms. one day, people will realise they 'can't eat money' (n.i.) and then maybe we will have to countenance changing our society in a serious way.

until then, we need to keep this on the agenda. not just on the backburner. everything we say should take our impact on the planet into account. whenever you choose what to wear, what to eat, what lights to turn on, think. if we can just manage that, we should be able to slowly slowly swing opinion back the way it will soon become all-too-obvious it needs to swing.

happy start of gulf hurricane season day.


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